Distraction burglaries and rogue trader cons increase in Milton Keynes as lockdown eases

The easing of lockdown has has unpleasant consequences for one part of MK.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 9:13 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 9:16 pm

Police have tonight warned of an increase in incidents of rogue traders and distraction burglaries of vulnerable and elderly people in the Bletchley area.

A spokesman said: "As we come out of lockdown we have seen an increase in these incidents. These include reports of workmen attending the addresses of the victims offering to carry out repairs to their property.

"Victims have then found that jewellery, cash and other items have been stolen. In some cases large sums of money have been handed over with no work being completed or attempted."

Police are warning people to be on the alert

Police are investigating all these incidents but in the meantime are advising residents, particularly older people, not to agree to any work being carried out or sign up for anything on the spot.

"Discuss any work you feel needs carrying out on your property with a relative or friend who can help you find a reputable trader. Don’t ever go to the bank or cashpoint with a trader; legitimate traders will never do this," said the spokesman.

"Don’t allow anyone to pressure you in to agreeing to have work carried out. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, call police on 999

People can contact Trading Standards for more advice and information about rogue traders on 0808 223 1133. They have a list of Buy With Confidence tradespeople who have all been pre- approved.

And, when looking for reputable contractors or handypersons, Age UK Milton Keynes has a list of reliable traders. They can be contacted on 01908 550 700

Buy With Confidence (list of traders pre- approved by Trading Standard) – 0808 223 1133.

One the the latest incidents happened on Thursday last week when a man knocked on the door of a house in Kennet Drive and told the elderly occupant that work would need to be done on their guttering.

Whilst arranging a fee for the work, a second man has got out of a van parked nearby. While the first offender distracted the occupants, this second man has entered the house and stolen two purses.

After both men left, the occupants realised that they had been burgled.

The first offender was white man, approximately 5ft 9ins tall and aged between 45 and 50 years-old. He had short fair hair, was clean shaven and spoke with a Midlands accent. He was wearing a navy blue jacket with small white writing on the chest.

The second offender was a broad white man, approximately 6ft 4ins tall and aged between 35 and 40-years-old. He had scruffy black hair and was wearing a thick beige jumper.

The van is described as a small/medium-sized white van with two ladders on the roof.

Detective Inspector James Horseman of Milton Keynes CID is appealing for witnesses or CCTV/doorbell camera footage from the local area. He is also keen to speak to anyone who may have spoken to anyone cold calling and offering property services in the area over the last few days.

If you have any information that could help with this investigation, please get in touch using our online form or by calling 101 with reference number 43210194179.

The spokesman said: "If someone calls at your door out of the blue, you are right to be suspicious. If they work for a company, ask to see a form of identification or take a card and call back later if you are interested in going ahead with any form of work. This gives you time to make a decision, speak to a friend or neighbour to get their thoughts and means that you can check they have given you legitimate details.

"Do not feel pressured to accept work or services from someone who calls out of the blue. Legitimate companies will understand and allow you time to make a decision. If you have any suspicions, then you can call us on 101 or in an emergency, 999."